punch

Krav Maga Illinois and Personal Safety

The landscape of the self-defense and martial arts training world can be incredibly confusing. Trying to figure out which style of training, which physical location to train at, which community of people to become involved with, can all seem overwhelming and stressful. Everyone who becomes interested in learning self-defense wants to train at the “best” place. 

It’s a decision that involves factoring in time and effort that will go into training, what sort of training will actually be taught and, really, what the student will get out of training. For some people it’s really about getting the most bang for their buck. For other’s it’s about getting a sense of accomplishment or reaching a personal goal. There’s also many people who just feel like they want to be doing “something” in the realm of learning self-defense because it’s a smart thing to do. 

Take a look at apps like Citizen or Next Door every once in a while to get an understanding of the real dangers and types of incidents that are happening in your neighborhood. 

Self-defense training should provide you with real skills that make you both safer and stronger. It should be a practice and a program that empowers you and really gives you a chance to prevail in situation where your life is on the line. 

Krav Maga Worldwide self-defense training was developed for this exact purpose and Krav Maga Worldwide as a company is dedicated to making people safer and stronger. That’s different from the idea of teaching people skills so they can fight. It boils down to personal safety and the kind of training that will help provide it. 

imi lichtenfeld

Krav Maga was created to teach people who had virtually no hand-to-hand combat experience to become skilled in hand-to-hand combat in a very short period of time. In order to do that Krav Maga’s creator, Imi Lichtenfeld, had to create a system and a systematic approach to teaching. A way in which people could learn self-defense skills quickly, and be able to recall and rely on them under stress. 

The system that Krav Maga Worldwide certified training centers use to teach students to be effective with self-defense and improve their personal safety is applicable at all Krav Maga belt levels. This means that as students progress in their training, the method of learning and developing remains consistent. 

krav maga techniques

Higher level Krav Maga self-defense classes deal with complex scenarios and tactics. However the fundamentals and principles remain the same as what is learned in beginner levels of Krav Maga training. Realistically, you can’t be effective at defending yourself against someone who is pointing a gun at you unless you have solid fundamentals. 

In terms of personal safety, it’s those solid fundamentals that everyone should know in order to really be able to protect themselves. Krav Maga self-defense classes stress those fundamentals. Our classes build those fundaments in students and push students to constantly refine them and keep them sharp. One of these self-defense fundamentals is understanding and utilizing what Krav Maga Worldwide self-defense training refers to as “the distance continuum.” 

If you think of limbs as your “personal weapons”, the distance continuum is the idea of being able to understand which range from an opponent or attacker that each of your personal weapons will be effective in. Krav Maga is a no-holds barred system. We teach students that there are no rules in a fight for your life. When it comes to learning Krav Maga techniques for personal safety it’s about which range to strike from and how to use each of your personal weapons in that given range to make the most damage to someone who wants to damage you. 

Long range combatives.

front kick to the groin

The length of your legs. It’s pretty simple. However that distance is, of course, different for each person. Regardless we consider long range combative to be used from a distance that is about the length of our legs, or just slightly outside. 

Krav Maga Worldwide self-defense is really about staying safe. There’s a chance that if someone is outside the length of your legs, you might be able to get away from them and not HAVE to get into a fight. That chance is dictated by a number of factors that could be uncontrollable, though so we teach students to use their legs to throw long range strikes. 

One Krav Maga technique that everyone should know is a front kick to the groin. Front kick to the groin is a rising kick that travels on a vertical plane, up and through the attacker or opponents groin. 

The initial movement comes from driving the hips forward and leading with the knee of the kicking leg, then unfolding that leg up and through the attacker or opponent’s groin. The striking surface of the kick should be the top of the foot or the shin. In order to make sure the striking surface is correct, it’s important to point the toes of the kicking leg toward the target, not up toward the ceiling or sky. 

Front kick to the groin is an essential Krav Maga technique to know because, aside from causing pain, it can cause an involuntary reaction that incapacitates the person who is kicked. That reaction could end the encounter entirely or give the defender a chance to escape.

Mid-range combatives.

learn krav maga and get punching power

The length of your arms. Again, this is pretty simple to understand in terms of concept but there are variances depending on each person’s body. 

The essential Krav Maga technique to know from mind-range is a straight punch. 

Power in straight punches comes from the body turning, not just from the arms. To become proficient at throwing straight punches, try to imagine that your whole body is going to send the punch.

The rotation of the body is what throws the punch and generates power. The striking surface of the hand that is used for a straight punch should be the “top two” knuckles of the fist (pointer finger and middle finger). We generally think about the straight punch targeting areas of the face that are located “eyebrows and below” on the opponent or attacker. 

Similar to the thinking behind kicking to the goin, punching to the “eyebrows and below” gives the defender a chance to damage the “soft targets” of an attacker’s face. The idea here again is to cause an involuntary reaction as well as pain. Disrupting an attacker’s ability to see or breathe gives the defender an advantage in the altercation and could provide an avenue for escape.

Close range combatives.

learn krav maga striking to the groin

The distance that inside the length of your arms. 

If an attacker is so close to you that they are inside your arms reach, you might still be able to kick them in the groin, but a straight punch is going to be less effective. Remember it’s your knuckles that deliver the straight punch so if the attacker is so close that they are past your knuckles, fists, wrists, etc. we teach students to think about using elbow strikes and knee strikes. 

krav maga near me

The Krav Maga worldwide self-defense system teaches 7 different elbow strikes. The technique varies based on the position relative to the attacker but the distance is the same. You can learn all about them here.

Knee strikes are delivered similar to the initial movement involved in sending a front kick to the groin. Driving the hips forward and bending the striking leg into an “arrowhead” shape so that the knee is leading. If we think about an attacker being in front of the defender, the knee strike should go forward as if going through the attacker. It shouldn’t go up as if the attacker was going to take their knee toward their chin.

Self Defense - Kelly Campbell

Depending on just how close the attacker is, there might be a need to grab or hold the attacker in a “control” position. Whether you are throwing a knee strike with a control or without, Krav Maga Worldwide self-defense classes teach students to target the attacker’s groin or midsection. The logic for this being the same with previous techniques. Try to cause an involuntary reaction in the attacker that will incapacitate them. 

If the attacker folds or bends over after being hit with a knee strike, it might be possible to follow up with knees to the head. However initial strikes should target the groin or midsection.

Consistent training.

Krav Maga Basics

Understanding the distance continuum and knowing how to strike effectively from various distances is really the foundation for being able to effectively defend yourself. 

Knowing how to do this and really having the ability to utilize the knowledge comes from consistent training and practicing in different scenarios and under different levels of stress.

So, if you’re thinking about self-defense training and all you see is a confusing landscape consider that Krav Maga Worldwide training is all about practical self-defense for personal safety. Our system is designed to make people safer and stronger. It’s not about learning how to fight for the purpose of fighting or for anything involving ego.

Krav Maga Illinois is a Krav Maga Worldwide certified training center, with certified instructors who dedicate their lives to empowering people with real skills to be safer and stronger. If you want to start self-defense training and are looking for an Official Krav Maga training center give us a call.  Your first class is free!  773\775-5201.


Krav Maga Illinois has been selected as Best Self Defense training by Chicago Magazine.

Founded in 2009 by Sue Garstki, a lifetime martial artist with over 40 years of martial arts and teaching experience.  Krav Maga Illinois has served thousands of students looking for realistic self defense and awareness training, confidence, empowerment, physical fitness, and mental toughness.  Our Krav Maga Training practitioners include moms, dads, students, professionals, military personnel, law enforcement, anyone interested in protecting and improving their quality of life.  Krav Maga Illinois is a proud licensee of Krav Maga Worldwide, and is on a nationwide curriculum with over 150 KMW training facilities all over the world.

Krav Maga Illinois Krav Maga Kid’s Program is for children 10 and up.  This is a program that focuses on reality self defense, anti-bullying, strength and confidence building.  It is a hands on program in a safe and supportive environment.  

All of our instructors are officially certified through Krav Maga Worldwide and USA Boxing.  They are  knowledgeable and recognized in their field of expertise. What we do is self defense, and that is clear through the information and level of instruction given by our talented instructors. Instructors can answer questions you may have by calling directly at 773/775-5201. You can also visit our website at KravMagaIllinois.com

About Sue Garstki: Sue Garstki is a certified Expert Level Kravmaga Worldwide Instructor, 2nd Degree Black Belt in Okinawan Shorei Goju Karate, and official USA Boxing Coach.  She has been certified in Commando Krav Maga and the Haganah/F.I.G.H.T. system. She is also a Level 4 instructor in the Raven Method Close Quarter Defensive Tactics System, having had the honor of working with the Chicago Guardian Angels. Sue was nominated Female Reality Self Defense Instructor of the Year by the Global Network of Reality Based Self Defense Systems, and Civilian Close Quarter Combat Instructor of the Year. Sue has worked with the Chicago Police Department as well as schools and other organizations spreading awareness in Self Defense, Women’s Self Defense and Domestic Violence issues. In June 2013 Sue was inducted into the U.S.A. Martial Arts Hall of Fame, and again in 2015, where she was named Krav Maga Expert of the Year. In 2021 and 2022, she was again added to the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame.  She is a certified personal trainer under NDEITA and was one of the first instructors be be certified to teach the National Association of Professional Martial Artist’s (NAPMA) Kardio Karate program.  She is the founder of the Women’s Martial Arts Alliance, member of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation, and the American Women’s Self-Defense Association.  Sue can be reached at any time for more information or to answer any questions by calling 773/775-5201.

Krav Maga Class Description

Tour of Krav Maga Illinois Self Defense Class

self defense drill
Krav Maga Illinois self defense drill

KRAV MAGA ILLINOIS CLASS STRUCTURE

If you’ve been  thinking about coming in for a Krav Maga reality self defense class, but not sure what to expect, keep reading.  Here is a brief breakdown of a typical Krav Maga self defense beginner class at Krav Maga Illinois.  No experience is necessary.  Krav Maga is simplistic and practical self defense.  Techniques, drills, exercises can be modified based on your strength level.  You do not need to be in shape first to take a class.  Whether you are a seasoned athlete or a non-athlete/couch potato, this class is for you.  Krav Maga classes at Krav Maga Illinois are held on Monday and Wednesday at 5:30pm, Thursday at 6:30pm, Saturday at 8am and Sunday at 9am.  You can choose any one of these classes as your “FREE TRIAL”

This one hour long reality self defense class consists of adults of all genders, backgrounds and professions, ages 15 to 70+.  Students are paired with someone the same size and Krav Maga experience level. (no experience is necessary to start training).  The structure of the class is as follows…

WARM UP

Our Warm up lasts for about 15 minutes and features different exercises such as medicine ball tosses, push ups, burpees, distancing drills etc.  In our Krav Maga self defense class we will strengthen your entire body in order to survive a violent attack.  The stronger you get, the less vulnerable and more confident you will become.

STRETCH

Stretching from head to toe, preparing for our training while at the same time increasing our flexibility. Stretching  is vital for improving posture, balance, muscle coordination and reducing the risk of injury.

FATIGUE DRILLS

We will do at least two fatigue drills consisting of continuous punching, kicking, etc., moving from one area to another. Your partner is holding a pad and you are punching or kicking into it.  The drills last 30 to 45 seconds long and may be repeated.  A self defense encounter will not last very long, so we must train in appropriate timing. The purpose of the fatigue drill is to get you tired, in order to start the self defense training.  We try to recreate a real situation.  In a real attack you will not be fresh, there will be an adrenaline drop, you may have tunnel vision, you may be dizzy, you may have gotten hit. We start our combatives and self defense training from here, from this point of being already tired.  We are making you work while being uncomfortable.

COMBATIVES

Students will now learn a combative, such as a punch, kick, elbow, knee etc.  The technique will be broken down dry (in the mirror). Once you have a good grasp of the technique, you will begin working drills on the pads with your partner.  For instance, your partner holding a pad and you are doing a kick followed by punches.

SPIRIT DRILL

A spirit drill is a tool to increase your fighting spirit.  In this multiple attacker scenario, students are working in groups of 4.  3 people are holding pads, one person in the middle.  The person in the middle is attacking one pad while another person is pushing them, as soon as they feel the push they respond by attacking, until they feel another push then they attack that person. It is continuous defending.  During the drill you will get tired, but you are encouraged to keep fighting, keep pushing through.  In a real situation there is no stopping, so you must get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

SELF DEFENSE TECHNIQUE

Students will now learn a self defense technique.  This technique could be a choke from the front, back, with a push, on the ground etc. (anything that is within the curriculum level we are working on) The technique is broken down and done without a partner.  Once the students understand the technique they will begin to work with a partner.  We start at a slower pace and then bring up the aggressiveness and intensity going back and forth. This is aggressive training in a safe environment.

SELF DEFENSE/STRESS DRILL

The final drill is the culmination of all you have learned for the day. Lights are out, loud music playing, your eyes are closed and your partner or another student will attack you.  You will defend as quickly and correctly as possible according to the drill as the instructor describes.  The more stressors we can put in, like spinning, doing push ups, closing eyes etc. the better prepared the student will be for a situation we hope never happens. Anyone can defend themselves when they are calm and prepared and they know it will happen. However that is not reality.  In reality you will not see it coming, it will be a struggle, it will be a fight from your life, so we must train for the fight of our lives.

Visualization is such an important tool in our self defense training.  We are not working against our partner, we are working against someone who is now desperate because we are foiling their attempt at hurting us. They are still fighting, we must be able to pull off our techniques in movement, when something goes wrong, when we are so tired we want to quit, knowing the only way to survive is to keep fighting.  We must train realistically for the fight of our lives. Krav Maga training is more that just the technique, it is awareness, reaction, response, timing, the ability to adapt, to work out of our comfort zone, to work from a disadvantage. Only when we consider all of these components can we truly start training reality self defense.

 

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Krav Maga Illinois has been selected as Best Self Defense training by Chicago Magazine.

Founded in 2009 by Sue Garstki, a lifetime martial artist with over 40 years of martial arts and teaching experience.  Krav Maga Illinois has served thousands of students looking for realistic self defense and awareness training, confidence, empowerment, physical fitness, and mental toughness.  Our Krav Maga Training practitioners include moms, dads, students, professionals, military personnel, law enforcement, anyone interested in protecting and improving their quality of life.  Krav Maga Illinois is a proud licensee of Krav Maga Worldwide, and is on a nationwide curriculum with over 150 KMW training facilities all over the world.

Krav Maga Illinois Krav Maga Kid’s Program is for children 10 and up.  This is a program that focuses on reality self defense, anti-bullying, strength and confidence building.  It is a hands on program in a safe and supportive environment.  

All of our instructors are officially certified through Krav Maga Worldwide and USA Boxing.  They are  knowledgeable and recognized in their field of expertise. What we do is self defense, and that is clear through the level of instruction given by our talented instructors. Instructors can answer questions you may have by calling directly at 773/775-5201. You can also visit our website at KravMagaIllinois.com

About Sue Garstki: Sue Garstki is a certified Expert Level Kravmaga Worldwide Instructor, 2nd Degree Black Belt in Okinawan Shorei Goju Karate, and official USA Boxing Coach.  She has been certified in Commando Krav Maga and the Haganah/F.I.G.H.T. system. She is also a Level 4 instructor in the Raven Method Close Quarter Defensive Tactics System, having had the honor of working with the Chicago Guardian Angels. Sue was nominated Female Reality Self Defense Instructor of the Year by the Global Network of Reality Based Self Defense Systems, and Civilian Close Quarter Combat Instructor of the Year. Sue has worked with the Chicago Police Department as well as schools and other organizations spreading awareness in Self Defense, Women’s Self Defense and Domestic Violence issues. In June 2013 Sue was inducted into the U.S.A. Martial Arts Hall of Fame, and again in 2015, 2017 and 2020 where she was named Krav Maga Expert of the Year.  She is a certified personal trainer under NDEITA and was one of the first instructors be be certified to teach the National Association of Professional Martial Artist’s (NAPMA) Kardio Karate program.  She is the founder of the Women’s Martial Arts Alliance, member of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation, and the American Women’s Self-Defense Association.  Sue can be reached at any time for more information or to answer any questions by calling 773/775-5201.

The Krav Maga Illinois headquarters is at 5201 North Oketo, Chicago, Illinois 60656 773/775-5201

 

 

 

 

Happy Labor Day from Krav Maga Illinois

Happy Labor Day from Krav Maga Illinois

In honor of the Labor Day Holiday, Krav Maga Illinois will be closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday 9/5, 9/6, 9/7.  This gives our students and staff time to relax, celebrate and reflect on the hard work and achievements of all American workers.  We’ve done a lot and have come a long way.  Hoping everyone has an awesome weekend.  Looking forward to seeing everyone when our regular schedule resumes on Wednesday, 9/8/20.

 

 

 

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Krav Maga Illinois has been selected as Best Self Defense training by Chicago Magazine.

Founded in 2009 by Sue Garstki, a lifetime martial artist with over 40 years of martial arts and teaching experience.  Krav Maga Illinois has served thousands of students looking for realistic self defense and awareness training, confidence, empowerment, physical fitness, and mental toughness.  Our Krav Maga Training practitioners include moms, dads, students, professionals, military personnel, law enforcement, anyone interested in protecting and improving their quality of life.  Krav Maga Illinois is a proud licensee of Krav Maga Worldwide, and is on a nationwide curriculum with over 150 KMW training facilities all over the world.

Krav Maga Illinois Krav Maga Kid’s Program is for children 10 and up.  This is a program that focuses on reality self defense, anti-bullying, strength and confidence building.  It is a hands on program in a safe and supportive environment.  

All of our instructors are officially certified through Krav Maga Worldwide and USA Boxing.  They are  knowledgeable and recognized in their field of expertise. What we do is self defense, and that is clear through the level of instruction given by our talented instructors. Instructors can answer questions you may have by calling directly at 773/775-5201. You can also visit our website at KravMagaIllinois.com

About Sue Garstki: Sue Garstki is a certified Expert Level Kravmaga Worldwide Instructor, 2nd Degree Black Belt in Shorei Goju Karate.  She has been certified in Commando Krav Maga and the Haganah/F.I.G.H.T. system. She is also a Level 4 instructor in the Raven Method Close Quarter Defensive Tactics System, having had the honor of working with the Chicago Guardian Angels. Sue was nominated Female Reality Self Defense Instructor of the Year by the Global Network of Reality Based Self Defense Systems, and Civilian Close Quarter Combat Instructor of the Year. Sue has worked with the Chicago Police Department as well as schools and other organizations spreading awareness in Self Defense, Women’s Self Defense and Domestic Violence issues. In June 2013 Sue was inducted into the U.S.A. Martial Arts Hall of Fame, and again in 2015, where she was named Krav Maga Expert of the Year.  She is a certified personal trainer under NDEITA and was one of the first instructors be be certified to teach the National Association of Professional Martial Artist’s (NAPMA) Kardio Karate program.  She is the founder of the Women’s Martial Arts Alliance, member of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation, and the American Women’s Self-Defense Association.  Sue can be reached at any time for more information or to answer any questions by calling 773/775=5201.

The Krav Maga Illinois headquarters is at 5201 North Oketo, Chicago, Illinois 60656 773/775-5201